Visitors and staff alike scurry out of the way as a gaggle of low slung choppers, hogs, hot rods and muscle cars roar into the hospital parking lot. Riding lead is the midget biker, and president of the Destroyers, Tony ‘Death Kill’ jones. They all come to a stop at the entrance of the hospital, where Solace and the gang stand waiting. A security guard puffs himself up and makes his was to Tony, but is cut off by a massive biker with an envelope. With a nod the guard starts ushering patients and staff into he hospital, like this happens every Wednesday.
Tony hops off his bike with his Wife, Vera, high heel clipping right behind him. Tony walks right up to solace, glances at the wheel chair next to him, and pulls out a handicap parking tag. Both men burst into laughter and embrace.
“You know jones, just because you can’t reach the bottom shelf doesn’t make you a cripple.”
“Nigga, just having a busted face ain’t no reason to go to the hospital.”
“Thanks for picking us up.”
“Any time, brother man.” Jones turns to his gang, “three charters worth of Destroyers had to see if it was true that the Traveler was sent to the hospital because of a little leaf.”
Solace turns and lifts his shirt to show them all his surgery wound. “The little bastard had a knife and knew how to use it.”
The gang’s laughs are drowned out by the starting of engines. Vera leans in and hugs Solace, then goes on to the rest of the group with busty salutations. Tony leads solace to a deep purple muscle car and tosses him the keys. He and Vera get back on his bike and wait for the others to get into their own cars.
There is a note stuck on Solace’s steering wheel with the address of the Destroyers club house. He sets fire to it, uses it to light a cigarette and tosses it out the window. The moment the engine comes to life, all of his pains fade away. Eight cylinders and the prospect of the open road will do that to an old rubber tramp who has ached for much too long.
He pulls the car onto the road like a young man guiding his date through a doorway, gently and with his hand placed in a respectable position. Solace teases the throttle ever so slightly at every stop light, steals glances at the speedometer every chance he gets, and finally when the roads are clear he opens her up.
Cas, who is driving the others, tries to overtake him but can’t keep up when the hills in the road starts to rise and fall too steeply. The only one keeping pace is jones, with his wife digging her nails into him to stay on. But he falls way back in the first corner. Solace can’t help himself, he sticks his head out of the window and screams a yelp of freedom.
An hour and two cities later Solace pulls into the club house parking lot. He pops the hood and get out of the car, he spends the next fifteen minutes before the rest of them arrive marveling at his date.
The party that takes place is as intimate as a biker romp can be; gallons of alcohol and seven grills working overtime, a boxing ring for entertainment and the house band blaring. All of this is far, far away from the dark, smoke filled basement under the clubhouse where Solace, Jacob and Tony Jones sit staring at each other across a large wooden table.
“What needs to be done?” Jones asks sucking on the tail end of a cigar.
“I need to exercise some demons.” Solace says.
“Holy water and a well-placed bible.”
“How many Vickers?”
“You need to ask my parishioner about that.”
Tony lifts a phone from its receiver, “Send Cas into the church.”
After a minute of waiting there is a knock at the door and a Destroyer leads Cas into the room. After the usher is dismissed Cas takes a seat and looks from Solace to Tony, and back again. Without taking his eyes off of Tony Solace asks, “If we were to try and end this, how many bodies would we need?”
Cas takes a deep breath before responding. “Half a charter.”
“You tell me what city this is gonna take place in and I’ll make sure a full charter backs you up.”
“With Sebastian Stone-Hand on Byron’s roster, we’re going to need every hand we can get.” Cas lights three cigarette and passes two of them on to Solace and Jacob.
“What the hell you do to this little prick, brother?”
Both Jacob and Cas do a terrible job at hiding their interest. Solace looks up at the ceiling and says, “I left him for dead.”